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Supplemental Surveys

In addition to providing data on the labor force status of the population, the Current Population Survey (CPS) is used to collect data for a variety of studies on the entire U.S. population and specific population subsets. These studies keep the nation informed of the economic and social well-being of its people and are used by federal and state agencies, private foundations, and other organizations. Supplemental inquiries take advantage of several special features of the CPS: large sample size and general purpose design; highly skilled, experienced interviewing and field staff; and generalized processing systems that can easily accommodate the inclusion of additional questions.

Some CPS supplemental inquiries are conducted annually, others every other year, and still others on a one-time basis. The frequency and recurrence of a supplement depend on what best meets the needs of the supplement’s sponsor. In addition, any supplemental inquiry must meet strict criteria discussed in the next section.

Producing supplemental data from the CPS involves more than just including additional questions. Separate data processing is required to edit responses for consistency and to impute missing values. An additional weighting method is often necessary because the supplement targets a different universe from that of the basic CPS. A supplement can also engender a different level of response or cooperation from respondents. To see more information concerning criteria for CPS Supplements, refer to Tech Paper 77 Chapter 1-3.

CPS Supplements 2005 - 2021

Title Month Purpose Sponsor
Housing Vacancy Monthly Provide quarterly data on vacancy rates and characteristics of vacant units. Census
Displaced Workers January 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 Provide data on workers who lost a job in the last 5 years due to plant closing, shift elimination, or other work-related reason. Periodicity: Biennial. BLS
Job Tenure/Occupational Mobility January 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 Provide data that will measure an individual’s tenure with his/her current employer and in his/her current occupation. Periodicity: As requested. BLS
Contingent Workers February 2005, May 2018 Provide information on the type of employment arrangement workers have on their current job and other characteristics of the current job such as earnings, benefits, longevity, etc., along with their satisfaction with and expectations for their current jobs. Periodicity: As requested. BLS
Annual Social and Economic Supplement March 2005-2021 Provide data concerning family characteristics, household composition, marital status, education attainment, health insurance coverage, foreign-born population, previous year’s income from all sources, work experience, receipt of noncash benefit, poverty, program participation, and geographic mobility. Periodicity: Annual Census/BLS
Child Support April 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 Identify households with absent parents and provide data on child support arrangements, visitation rights of absent parent, amount and frequency of actual versus awarded child support, and health insurance coverage. Data are also provided on why child support was not received or awarded. April data will be matched to March data. OCSE
Unemployment Insurance Non-Filer January, May, July, November 2005; May, September 2018 Determine how many people have applied, received, and have since used up their unemployment insurance benefits, and to what extent are individuals not applying for unemployment benefits, and their reasons for not doing so. Dept. of Labor (2005)
BLS (2018)
Public Participation in the Arts May 2008; July 2012, 2017; February 2013 - 2016, 2018 To obtain information on type and frequency of adult participation in the arts; training and exposure (particularly while young), and their musical and artistic activity preferences. NEA
Disability May 2012, July 2021 To measure data in specific areas related to the employment of persons with disabilities. Gives labor force participation rates, work history, barriers to employment, and types of workplace accomodations for persons with disabilities. BLS
Fertility June 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 Provide data on the number of children that women aged 15-50 have ever had and the children’s characteristics. Periodicity: Biennial. Census/BLS
Unbanked/Underbanked January 2009, June 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 To obtain information about unbanked and underbanked households as part of an effort to bring them into the economic mainstream. FDIC
Veterans August, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 - 2021, July 2010 Provide data for veterans of the United States on Vietnam-theater and Persian Gulf-theater status, service-connected income, effect of a service-connected disability on current labor force participation and participation in veterans’ programs. Periodicity: Biennial thru 2009, annually thereafter. BLS
Volunteers September 2005-2015 Provide a measurement of participation in volunteer service, specifically about frequency of volunteer activity, the kinds of organizations volunteered with, and types of activities chosen. Among nonvolunteers, questions identify what barriers were experienced in volunteering, or what encouragement is needed to increase participation. BLS, Americorps
Volunteering and Civic Life September 2017, 2019 To obtain information on the extent to which our nation’s communities are places where individuals are civically active. It will also obtain information about the number of individuals in the U.S. involved in unpaid volunteer activities, and to measure the frequency with which individuals volunteer their time. Americorps
School Enrollment October 2005-2020 Provide information on population 3 years old and older on school enrollment, junior or regular college attendance, and high school graduation. Periodicity: Annual. BLS/Census/NCES
Voting and Registration November 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020 Provide demographic information on persons who did and did not register to vote. Also measures number of persons who voted and reasons for not registering. Periodicity: Biennial. Census
Civic Engagement November 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 Provide information on the extent to which our nation's communities are places where individuals are civically active. Provide information on communication with others, interaction with public institutions and private enterprises, forming positve relationships with others, participation in groups, extent of political action, frequency of gaining news and information from media sources. BLS, Americorps
Tobacco Use Fielded every 3 years since Sept 1992, Jan. 1993, and May 1993 ( 3 nonconsecutive month cycles) through 1999; Jan and May 2000; June and Nov. 2001 and Feb 2002; Feb., June, and Nov. 2003; May and August 2006, January 2007; May and August 2010, and January 2011; May 2011 follow-up of May 2010. July 2014, January and May 2015; July 2018, January and May 2019 Provide data for population 18 years and older (15 years and older from 1992-2006) on current and former cigarette and other tobacco products use patterns; restrictions on smoking at home and in the workplace, smoking cessation advice obtained from a clinician; personal attitudes toward smoking; and emerging tobacco control topics. PERIODICITY: Typically every 3-4 years since 1992. Sponsor Website: cancer.gov NCI (FDA in 2014-2015)
Computer and Internet Use November 2007, October 2009, October 2010, July 2011, October 2012, July 2013, July 2015,  November 2017 and 2019 Provide information about household access to computers and the use of the Internet. NTIA
International Migration August 2008 Provide international migration data that will assist the U.S. Census Bureau, other government agencies, and other researchers to improve the quality of international migration estimates and to determine changes in migration patterns that are related to the nation’s population composition. Census
Food Security December 2005-2020 Provide data that will measure hunger and food security. It will provide data on food expenditure, access to food, and food quality and safety. FNS

Page Last Revised - July 29, 2022
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